from the intercession (shafåa) and the supplicatory prayers said on his behalf. However, in his opinion, once the prayer had been said, the burial should not be postponed, even if the delay anables for a group of latecomers to pray as well.35 Apparently, this stand was not shared, or at least not practiced, by some other scholars. At the funeral of Ibn al-Anma† (d. circa 619/1221), who was considered to have been one of the most learned scholars of ªadth in Damascus in his generation, the Óanbal Muwaaq al-Dn ibn Qudåma led the prayer for the dead in the great mosque, the Shå Fakhr al-Dn ibn Asåkir repeated it by the gate of al-Mi‚r, and the Óanaf qå al-quåt (head of the judges) Jamål al-Dn al-Mi‚r said it for the third time by the grave in Maqåbir al-Í¨fyya.36 The Qurån recitation of some of the ignoramuses in funerals in Damascus, who stretch ˜the syllables· in an abominable manner, sing them more than they should, insert extra syllables into some of the words, and so forth was another cause for scholarly attack.37 Al-Nawaw, like ¤iyå al-Dn quoted above, claims that these are oensive customs, forbidden by the consensus of the ulamå. He urges those in authority to reprimand any Muslim who performs them, and correct him, but does not object to recitation if done properly. He considered s¨rat yåsn (36) and al-baqara (2) as most appropriate for funerals.38 The Egyptian Abd al-Raªmån b. Uthmån (d. 615/ 1218) explains, in his pilgrimage guide, why yåsn—the s¨ra he crowns as the core of the Qurån: The man who recites yåsn hopes that God bestows on him forgiveness and a reward as great as that of the man who had recited the Qurån twelve times.39 Al-Shayzar
35 Al-Nawaw, Fatåwå, 48–49; Sulam, Fatåwå, 519. Actually, most ulamå agree that the prayer of just four men suces (Ibn Qudåma, al-Mughn, 3:394–400; al-Nawaw, al-Adhkår, 196). 36 Ab¨ Shåma, Taråjim, 131; Dhahab, Siyar, 22:40; Pouzet, Damas, 389. See discussion of this custom below. 37 Medieval and modern scholars object to melodic recitation mainly because it may distort the precise rhythmic and phonetic patterns of the divine text. They especially warn against the common mistake of lengthening syllables beyond their given duration (Nelson, The Art, 177–179). ¤iyå al-Dn ibn al-Athr dedicates a whole page to the condemnation of qiråa bi-l-talªn, and some other scholars deal with it at length as well (al-Mathal, 153). See also Fierro, Treatises, 211–213; Nelson, The Art, 183. 38 Al-Nawaw, Fatåwå, 22; ibid., al-Adhkår, 204; Meri, Ritual and the Qurån, 494. In modern Egypt, Qurån-reciters who make their living in cemeteries are considered to be the most ignorant of their kind (Nelson, The Art, 223 n. 37). 39 Ohtoshi, Manners, 26.